BH CORRESPONDENT, New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal has taken oath as the chief minister of Delhi for the third time and even though Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) election campaign in 2020 put major focus on women issues especially free bus rides and their safety, there’s not a single woman in Kejriwal’s cabinet.
And apart from Kejriwal’s swearing-in, which remained in news all throughout Sunday, social media was abuzz with the absence of a single presence of a woman minister in AAP government especially Atishi Marlena who is credited for revamping the public school education in the national capital.
Unlike 2015 where AAP had fielded six women candidates (and all of them won), this time, AAP had nine women candidates and out of which only Sarita Singh from Rohtas Nagar was defeated. The other women candidates who won are Atishi, Rakhi Birla, Preeti Tomar, Raj Kumari Dhillon, Parmila Tokas, Dhanwati Chandela, Bandana Kumar and Bhavna Gaur.
In fact, this time, according to a post-poll survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS nearly 60 per cent women had voted for AAP in comparison to 49 per cent men. Meanwhile, BJP who came second (with eight seats in the Delhi assembly election) had 35 per cent voting from the women as compared to 43 per cent men.
In fact, more than the other women candidates the absence of Atishi who defeated Dharambir Singh of BJP by a margin of 11,000 votes in Kalkaji had raised the eyebrows. She has become one of the star candidates and one of the most important members ever since AAP’s inception. Also, Atishi’s contribution and advice to the education minister in the revamping of the public education system cannot be neglected. Therefore, the moment Delhi chief minister Kejriwal posted a photograph with his new Cabinet ministers at his residence, the netizens commented on the absence of women ministers especially Atishi. Comments like “60% women voted for you still no representation?,” “Sir. You could have added one woman right by moving out one man?” and “Not a Single woman. Extremely disappointing” flooded Kejriwal’s official Twitter account.
Sir. You could have added one woman right by moving out one man?
— Amith (@amithpr) February 15, 2020
Sir why don’t we have even one woman in the cabinet despite there being deserving candidates like @AtishiAAP?
— Ajita Banerjie (@AjitaBanerjie) February 15, 2020
Why no women representatives? What about @AtishiAAP ? Surely at least ONE deserves to be included? Do u know d vote percentage of women who voted u to power?
— DibaGhazal (@DibzGhazal) February 16, 2020
Incumbent MLA Rakhi Birla from Mangolpuri constituency won the Delhi assembly election from Mangolpuri constituency by a whopping 30,000 votes. In fact, during 2013-2014, she was the cabinet minister of Women & Child, Social Welfare and Languages in AAP’s government. Another candidate of AAP, Raj Kumari Dhillon swept Hari Nagar against BJP’s Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga by a margin of over 20,100 votes.
In AAP Cabinet, six ministers — Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, Satyendar Jain, Rajendra Pal Gautam Kailash Gahlot, and Imran Hussain were sworn in as ministers. AAP had won 62 out of 70 seats in Delhi’s assembly election.